Hosting Sites and Personal Sites in the Same Web App?

I just noticed that Joel was talking about personal sites configuration and I realized that I never posted about my experience upgrading customers way back in the day. I bet some of you are experiencing this or will be experiencing this in the future so let me save you some trouble. Yes, it's possible to host sites and personal sites in the same web app and you can even view the public profile properties on the same web app if you configure it correctly. It's been almost a year since I did this so bear with me. First, you really do need a mysite host to see public profiles in 2007. Without it you won't see profile information and search won't be able to index the profiles either. Additionally, the timer jobs that ensure your WSS user information is synced with the profile database wont work.

You get the impression when trying to configure a mysite host that it has to be the top level site in a standalone web app. However, you can create one anywhere in your site hierarchy. You do this by using STSADM to create a web with mysite host template. (stsadm-o createweb -url http://site/mysitehostname -sitetemplate SPSMSITEHOST) If you have a portal at http://site, it makes sense to put your mysite host at http://site/my. No one browses this particular web as it's set to redirect users to their personal site. By default, any web created within a collab portal will be exposed on the site navigation menu. This is an easy fix as you can choose to hide the web in the site's navigation properties.

 Update: Bill Baer actually posted about this back in February although he muddied up the topic with some upgrade stuff as well 😉 Here's the link:


Comments (5)

  1. Martin Kearn says:

    Michael, this is an interesting read – thanks. How does this approach affect your ability to restore individual My Sites? I have always considered that one of the advantages of hosting My Sites in a seperate web application is that they are in a seperate set of content databases to your main ‘portal’ which makes restoration easier.

  2. MSDN Archive says:

    Hi Martin – Nice to meet you. We’ve never had a problem restoring individual mysites on a shared web app, however, we worry about upgrade and patching. While we’ve never had a problem with upgrade and patching, we think keeping them separate ensures operations flexibility for future releases. However, customers love a single url for all things SharePoint and it does simplify procurement and maintenance of DNS namespaces and certificates. We are actually considering splitting mysites into a separate web app in our next release because of the aforementioned concerns.

  3. Ben Curry says:

    Great post and interesting ideas. Not disagreeing with you, but I would add the following thoughts:

    1. If My Sites are in their own provider (Web App), then new My Sites inherit navigation (among others) from the My Site Host in the root managed path. This is very useful to modify settings without changing the My Site site def.

    2. When My Sites are in their own Web App, we can change the web app policies and available permission levels to all my sites in that Web app, en masse.

    Food for thought. Loved the presentations in Vegas. Keep up the great work!


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